29 Oct 2018

BY: Anna Keyter

Couple Counselling / Marriage Counselling / Relationship Counselling / Skype Counselling

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Relationship Counselling using Skype

Relationship counselling using Skype:

Online Therapy provides relationship counselling using Skype or Zoom.  Generally, relationship counselling is initiated by a partner when a couple struggles to deal with issues on their own.  Couples counselling, (sometimes referred to as marriage therapy) deals with problems and conflicts that arise in the relationship.  However, relationship therapy is not only between couples; it could also be with a family member or friend.  It is possible to receive relationship counselling using Skype, provided that the couple has a private place to talk to the therapist.

Theory: Relationship Therapy

From the Online Therapy perspective, our theoretical model mainly focuses on attachment theory and is possible to apply in relationship counselling using Skype. In other words, we believe that emotional and physical attachments to at least one caregiver is required for successful personal development in children. In approximately six to ten sessions, we will explore your childhood attachments to find out how it affects your current relationships.

Attachment Styles

Based on Ainsworth et al., (1978) four main attachment styles affect how adults react to others based on their experiences as a child.  Attachment styles develop when a baby is between zero and three years of age.

Secure (autonomous)

A secure attachment is formed when a baby receives sufficient nurturing and affection.  Furthermore, babies cannot self-soothe, they receive soothing from their parents (mainly the mother), which makes the child feel comfortable and loved.  Hence, a child learns that his/her world is safe.  As an adult, this person can securely attach to a partner, easily form close friendships and is dependable in turn.  This person will not avoid difficult situations (address them maturely without fear of rejection) and will be low on anxiety.

Avoidant (dismissive)

When a baby’s needs are not met, i.e. trained to sleep alone very early (crying until asleep) without his/her distress being responded to, as an adult this person will be uncomfortable with someone getting too close. For instance, they believe their primary caregivers rejected them, their needs were not met, and they experience the world not trusting others. In the long run, parents who encourage such independence teach the child that it is NOT ok to need someone.  As adults, they are self-contained and become emotionally unavailable (avoidant/dismissive).

Anxious (Preoccupied/ambivalent)

At times, parents are inconsistent in their reaction to children. One moment, they may respond in a nurturing manner, but other times they could be insensitive or intrusive. Consequently, this parenting style confuses children and makes them feel insecure because the child does not know what behaviour to expect from the parent. As adults, they seek extreme emotional closeness and often worry that they are not loved, they may also feel abandoned.

Anxious/Avoidant (Unresolved)

Physically or emotionally abused children are consistently in survival mode.  With this in mind, the world is a terrifying place for this child.  As an adult, they do not feel safe in relationships.  In other words, as much as they crave closeness, they run away when someone gets too close.  For this reason, these adults are uncomfortable with commitment but long for a close relationship.

Conclusion

As has been noted, attachment styles formed in childhood give us a glimpse into how a child will react to adult relationships.  For further reading on attachment styles Ainsworth et al., (1978) provide useful insight into child attachment development.

References

Ainsworth MD, Blehar M, Waters E, Wall S (1978). Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

To find out more about Relationship counselling using Skype, feel free to complete the contact form below and we will get back to you.

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